Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Indiana Independent Batteries, Part 2

We continue with the Indiana independent batteries in this installment, working from the 14th Battery through to the bottom of the list, beyond the 24th Battery to Wilder’s Battery (which would become the 26th Battery):

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  • 14th Battery: At Corinth, Mississippi with three 6-pdr field guns and one 3-inch Ordnance Rifle.  Lieutenant Francis W. Morse remained in command (Captain Meredith H. Kidd was not with the battery at this time of the war).  The battery supported 2nd Division, Sixteenth Corps, part of the Post of Corinth. The battery moved from LaGrange to Pocahontas, Tennessee in the first half of October. Then moved to Corinth in late November.
  • 15th Battery: Reporting at Knoxville, Tennessee with four 3-inch rifles.  Captain John C. H. von Sehlen remained in command. Battery moved around with organizational changes in the Department of the Ohio.   Transferred from the Twenty-third Corps in November to the Department’s Cavalry Division. Then moved to the 2nd Division, Ninth Corps by the end of December. The battery participated in the siege of Knoxville.
  • 16th Battery: A return of Fort Washington, Maryland without any guns listed.  Lieutenant Charles R. Deming’s battery were part of the Washington Defenses. This former light battery now served as heavy artillery, for all practical purposes garrison infantry.
  • 17th Battery: At Harpers Ferry, Maryland, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Milton L. Miner’s battery remained with the Maryland Heights Division, Department of West Virginia. 
  • 18th Battery:  No Return. Captain Eli Lilly’s battery transferred, as part of wider reorganizations to 2nd Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland.  The battery spent most of the fall supporting cavalry responding to Confederate raids. In action at Mossy Creek, Tennessee on December 29, Lilly mentioned only five 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.
  • 19th Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with six 12-pdr Napoleons. Captain Samuel J. Harris’s battery supported Fourteenth Corps. In October, when the 4th Division was collapsed, the battery moved to the 3rd Division of that corps.
  • 20th Battery:  At Bridgeport, Alabama with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James rifles.  In October, Captain Milton A. Osborne’s battery moved out of Nashville, as part of the effort to secure supply lines to Chattanooga. On paper, still part of the Garrison of Nashville, the battery wintered at Bridgeport.
  • 21st Battery:  No location offered, but with four 20-pdr Parrotts (having given up their Napoleons).  Captain William W. Andrew’s battery transferred out of the Fourteenth Corps to the Army of the Cumberland’s Artillery Reserve, under October reorganizations.  The battery was stationed at Chattanooga during the winter.
  • 22nd Battery: At Camp Nelson, Kentucky with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 10-pdr Parrotts.  Under Captain Benjamin F. Denning, this battery was assigned to the Second Division, Twenty-Third Corps, Army of the Ohio.  In December, the battery moved to Point Burnside, Kentucky. Well into 1864, the battery served in the Department of Southwestern Kentucky.
  • 23rd Battery:  Reporting at Knoxville, Tennessee with six 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain James H. Myers’ battery remained under Twenty-Third Corps.  Moving by way of the Cumberland Gap, the battery was among the forces operating around Morristown at the start of October. In December, the battery covered Bull’s Gap. The battery wintered along the Clinch River.
  • 24th Battery: Also reporting at Knoxville and also with six 3.80-inch James rifles. Captain Joseph A. Sims resigned on December 7. Lieutenant Alexander Hardy replaced him. As part of the Twenty-Third Corps, the battery saw action during the Confederate attempt to retake Knoxville. On November 16, the battery played an important role driving back those Confederates.
  • 25th Battery:  No return. The 25th would not organize until the late summer of 1864.  So this is simply a placeholder line.
  • 26th Battery or Wilder Battery: Also at Knoxville, but with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Recall this battery was first organized by (then) Captain John T. Wilder, later colonel of the famous “Lightning Brigade.” Though given the 26th as a designation in early 1864, through most of the war the battery was cited as Wilder’s.  Captain Hubbard T. Thomas commanded the battery, assigned to the Twenty-Third Corps.  The battery participated in the Siege of Knoxville.

We turn then to the ammunition, starting with the smoothbore rounds reported:

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  • 14th Battery: 608 shot and 500 case for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 19th Battery: 73 shot, 80 shell, and 178 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 20th Battery: 189 shot and 170 case for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 22nd Battery: 258 shot, 263 shell, and 271 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.

More smoothbore on the left side of the next page:

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  • 14th Battery: 94 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 19th Battery: 238 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 20th Battery: 35 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 22nd Battery: 261 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Hotchkiss rifled projectiles on the right side of this page:

  • 15th Battery: 180 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 17th Battery: 240 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 20th Battery: 392 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 23rd Battery: 219 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 24th Battery: 218 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Wilder Battery: 320 Hotchkiss time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss on the left side of the next page:

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  • 14th Battery: 274 percussion fuse shell and 39 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 15th Battery: 525 bullet shell and 180 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 17th Battery: 720 bullet shell and 528 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 20th Battery: 161 percussion fuse shell, 20 bullet shell, and 162 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 23rd Battery: 317 percussion fuse shell, 95 bullet shell, and 210 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 24th Battery: 320 percussion fuse shell, 71 bullet shell, and 36 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Wilder Battery: 72 percussion fuse shell, 250 bullet shell, and 332 canister for 3-inch rifles.

To the right, one entry for Parrott projectiles:

  • 22nd Battery: 250 shot for 10-pdr Parrott.

More Parrott rounds on the next page:

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  • 14th Battery: 83 shell for 10-pdr Parrott (issued to a battery with 3-inch Ordnance rifles… presumably, under the rule of “if it fits, we shoot it!).
  • 21st Battery: 210 shell for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • 22nd Battery: 345 shell and 200 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

No projectiles under the “miscellaneous” headings. So we move to the small arms:

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  • 14th Battery: 15 cavalry sabers.
  • 15th Battery: 28 Colt army revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.
  • 16th Battery: 126 Enfield .577 muskets, two Colt navy revolvers, eight foot officers’ swords, and two musicians’ swords.
  • 17th Battery: 16 Colt army revolvers and eleven horse artillery sabers.
  • 19th Battery: Six horse artillery sabers.
  • 20th Battery: 14 Colt navy revolvers.
  • 21st Battery: 15 Colt army revolvers and 24 horse artillery sabers.
  • 22nd Battery: 30 Colt navy revolvers and 32 horse artillery sabers.
  • 23rd Battery: 30 Remington army revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.
  • 24th Battery: 26 Remington navy revolvers and two horse artillery sabers.
  • Wilder Battery: 12 horse artillery sabers.

That brings us to the artillery cartridge bags and small arms cartridges:

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  • 14th Battery: 146 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 17th Battery: 100 cartridges for Sharps’ carbine. (no indication of why these would be on hand).
  • 21st Battery: 339 cartridge bags for 20-pdr Parrott, and 2,000 Sharps’ cartridges (which again, seems out of place).
  • 22nd Battery: 300 cartridge bags for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 23rd Battery: 100 cartridge bags for James rifles.
  • 24th Battery: 640 cartridge bags for James rifles.

Moving on, we last consult columns for pistol cartridges, artillery fuses, loose powder, and primers:

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  • 14th Battery: 290 friction primers.
  • 15th Battery: 360 paper fuses.
  • 17th Battery: 1,159 friction primers and 200 percussion caps.
  • 19th Battery: 250 army pistol cartridges and 365 friction primers.
  • 20th Battery: 1,800 navy pistol cartridges, 470 paper fuses, and 1,500 friction primers.
  • 21st Battery: 71 paper fuses and 295 friction primers.
  • 22nd Battery: 2,400 friction primers.
  • 23rd Battery: 605 army pistol cartridges, 1,505 friction primers, 10 yards of slow match, and 20 portfires.
  • 24th Battery: 500 paper fuses, 960 friction primers, 25 yards of slow match, and 40 portfires.
  • Wilder Battery: 1,190 paper fuses and 141 friction primers.

That rounds out the Indiana independent batteries. We have one additional line from the state’s summary to consider. That is for an artillery section reported by the 89th Indiana Infantry.

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Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Indiana Independent Batteries, Part 1

While the 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery wore one of the war’s most colorful nicknames, it was “heavy” artillery, and after all, raised as an infantry regiment. Most of the artillerists from Indiana formed into independent batteries. And most of those were light artillery. Their returns were consolidated into a lengthy section of the fourth quarter summaries:

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We will break these into two groups for ease of discussion (along with a separate post for the oddity in the bunch – an entry from the 89th Indiana Infantry). So we take up a baker’s dozen with the first part:

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  • 1st Battery:  Reporting, at New Orleans, Louisiana with four 12-pdr Napoleons and two 3-inch guns.  Captain Martin Klauss remained in command of this battery. Lieutenant Lawrence Jacoby (an officer from the 1st Missouri Artillery) lead the battery while Klauss was absent through December. The battery remained with First Division, Thirteenth Corps.  Following the Second Bayou Teche Campaign in October-November, the battery was assigned to the District of LaFourche, a parish away from New Orleans.
  • 2nd Battery:  Reporting at Fort Smith, Arkansas, with two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. With Captain John W. Rabb departing for a commission in the reformed 2nd Missouri (Light) Artillery Regiment, Lieutenant Hugh Espey, Jr. led this battery. His promotion to Captain would follow in January. With 2nd Brigade, District of the Frontier, the battery operated in the Indian Territories through much of the summer and fall. They moved to Fort Smith in October, remaining there through the winter.
  • 3rd Battery: No location offered, but with two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr Napoleons, and two 3.80-inch James rifles.  Captain James M. Cockefair remained in command of this battery.  The battery consolidated in St. Louis in October. Then in November, the battery reenlisted with “veteran” status. December found them operating in West Tennessee with a column dispatched in response to a raid by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. After which, the battery prepared for movement to Louisiana as part of the Third Division, Sixteenth Corps (to operate in the Red River Campaign).
  • 4th Battery:  At Chattanooga, Tennessee with three 12-pdr Napoleons, three 12-pdr field howitzers and two 3.80-inch James Rifles. With Captain David Flansburg in a Confederate prison, Lieutenant Henry J Willits led the battery. In October, the battery moved from the Fourteenth Corps to the garrison command at Chattanooga.
  • 5th Battery: Also at Chattanooga, but with six 10-pdr Parrott rifles. Captain Peter Simonson remained in command. Lieutenant Alfred Morrison filled in as commander when Simonson picked up duties as division artillery chief. Reorganizations of the Army of the Cumberland moved this battery to First Division, Fourth Corps.
  • 6th Battery: At Pocahontas, Tennessee, with two 6-pdr field guns and two 3.67-inch rifles (though this battery was associated with two James rifles earlier in the year).  With Captain Michael Mueller in command, the battery supported Third Division, Fifteenth Corps. The battery participated in several minor operations in the fall, then moved with its parent formation to Memphis. They wintered at Pocahontas, a railroad town to the east of that place.
  • 7th Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee, with six 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain George R. Swallow’s battery transferred from the Third Division, Twenty-First Corps to Third Division, Fourteenth Corps (more so a lateral move of the division) as the Army of the Cumberland reorganized in October. With Swallow serving as division artillery chief, Lieutenants Ortho H. Morgan and George M. Repp had turns leading the battery.
  • 8th Battery: No return. Captain George Estep retained command of this battery. With the Twenty-First Corps broken up, the battery transferred to the garrison of Chattannooga.  As the battery lost all its guns at Chickamauga, they maned heavy guns defending the city.
  • 9th Battery: No return. Lieutenant George R. Brown commanded this battery from Sixteenth Corps.  Brown’s battery was part of the garrison at Union City, Tennessee, and were involved with operations against Forrest in December. Later the battery was dispatched to Louisiana for the Red River Campaign.
  • 10th Battery: Reporting at Chattanooga, Tennessee with five 10-pdr Parrotts. Captain William A. Naylor remained in command of this battery. With the breakup of Twenty-First Corps, the battery transferred to Second Division, Fourth Corps. 
  • 11th Battery: Another battery at Chattanooga, Tennessee, boasting two 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, four 20-pdr Parrott rifles, and four 4.5-inch siege rifles. With the breakup of the Twentieth Corps, Captain Arnold Sutermeister’s battery became part of the Chattanooga garrison for a while. Then by December was assigned as the Siege Artillery of the Army of the Cumberland.
  • 12th Battery: Reporting at Nashville, Tennessee with two 6-pdr field guns, two 24-pdr field howitzers, three 24-pdr smoothbore siege guns, one 24-pdr rifled siege gun, and five 30-pdr Parrotts.  I believe the 12th passed their four 4.5-inch siege rifles to the 11th Battery. Those sections deployed forward to Chattanooga returned to Nashville in November.  Captain James E. White remained in command.  White also presided over the 20th Indiana battery, which was also stationed at Nashville. 
  • 13th Battery: No report. Captain Benjamin S. Nicklin’s battery remained at Gallatin, Tennessee, garrisoning Fort Thomas, in the Army of the Cumberland.

So of these thirteen batteries, eleven operated in Tennessee at the close of the year. Though a couple of those batteries were earmarked for operations in Mississippi and Louisiana in the early months of 1864.

Moving to the smoothbore ammunition columns:

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  • 1st Battery: 294 shell and 402 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 2nd Battery: 193 shot and 155 case for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery: 105 shot and 138 case for 6-pdr field guns; 96 shot, 316 shell, and 109 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 60 shot, 46 shell, and 173 case for 12-pdr Napoleons; 129 shell and 196 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 6th Battery: 111 shot and 182 case for 6-pdr field guns
  • 11th Battery: 110 shot and 150 case for 6-pdr field guns; 79 shell and 125 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 12th Battery: 56 shot and 54 case for 6-pdr field guns; 198 shells for 24-pdr siege guns.

More smoothbore on the next page:

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  • 1st Battery: 102 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 2nd Battery: 14 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 3rd Battery: 129 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 170 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 4th Battery: 94 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers; 123 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 6th Battery: 103 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 11th Battery: 120 canister for 6-pdr; 56 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • 12th Battery: 108 case for 24-pdr siege guns; 140 canister for 6-pdrs; 300 canister for 24-pdr siege guns; and 56 stands of grape for 24-pdr siege guns.

Hotchkiss rounds tallied on the right side of this page:

  • 1st Battery: 190 Hotchkiss time fuse shells for 3-inch rifles.
  • 2nd Battery: 153 Hotchkiss time fuse shells for 3.80-inch James.

Hotchkiss rounds continue on the next page:

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  • 1st Battery: 31 Hotchkiss percussion shell and 46 Hotchkiss canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • 2nd Battery: 51 Hotchkiss percussion shell and 194 Hotchkiss bullet shell for 3.80-inch James.
  • 4th Battery: 33 Hotchkiss percussion shell and 20 Hotchkiss canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 30 Hotchkiss percussion shell for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • 11th Battery: 10 Hotchkiss percussion shell and 10 Hotchkiss bullet shell for 4.5-inch siege rifles.

To the right on this page is a tally for James projectiles:

  • 2nd Battery: 111 shot, 792 shell, and 58 canister of James pattern for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 3rd Battery: 52 shot, 143 shell, and 24 canister of James pattern for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 10 shot, 55 shell, and 20 canister of James pattern for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 6th Battery: 59 shot, 109 shell, and 123 canister of James pattern for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 25 shot and 51 shell of James pattern for 3.80-inch rifles.

And further to the right is one lone column for Parrott projectiles:

  • 5th Battery: 10 shot of Parrott patent for 10-pdr Parrotts
  • 7th Battery: 25 shot of Parrott patent for 10-pdr Parrotts.

The next page continues with Parrott patent projectiles:

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  • 5th Battery: 555 shell, 295 case, and 161 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 7th Battery: 636 shell, 482 case, and 218 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 10th Battery: 169 shell, 73 case, and 112 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 11th Battery: 30 shot, 54 shell, and 22 case for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 12th Battery: 505 shell and 150 canister for 30-pdr Parrotts.

To the right are columns for Schenkl projectiles:

  • 1st Battery: 174 Schenkl shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • 4th Battery: 168 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • 11th Battery: 10 Schenkl shot for 4.5-inch rifles.
  • 12th Battery: 180 Schenkl shot for 4.2-inch siege rifles (same bore diameter as the 30-pdr Parrott).

No projectiles under the “miscellaneous” headings. So we turn to the small arms:

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  • 1st Battery: 25 cavalry sabers.
  • 2nd Battery: 7 Enfield .577 muskets, 22 Colt army revolvers, and 21 cavalry sabers.
  • 3rd Battery: 4 musketoons (.69 caliber smoothbore), 4 Colt navy revolvers, and 20 horse artillery sabers.
  • 4th Battery: 22 Remington army revolvers and 20 horse artillery sabers.
  • 5th Battery: One Colt army revolver, 9 cavalry sabers, and 7 horse artillery sabers.
  • 6th Battery: 6 cavalry sabers.
  • 7th Battery: 2 cavalry sabers and 13 horse artillery sabers.
  • 10th Battery: 17 Colt army revolvers and 11 cavalry sabers.
  • 11th Battery: 8 Colt army revolvers, 11 Colt navy revolvers, and 9 cavalry sabers.
  • 12th Battery: 12 Colt navy revolvers and 50 horse artillery sabers.

On to the next page with cartridge bags and small arms cartridges:

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  • 1st Battery: 391 cartridge bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • 2nd Battery: 680 cartridge bags for 20-pdr Parrotts (why those are in Fort Smith, Arkansas is anyone’s guess… mine is transcription error); and 2,000 musket cartridges.
  • 3rd Battery: 300 cartridge bags for field guns/howitzers.
  • 4th Battery: 172 cartridge bags for James rifles and 3 cartridge bags for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • 5th Battery: 355 cartridge bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 7th Battery: 447 cartridge bags for 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • 11th Battery: 56 cartridge bags for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • 12th Battery: 1,045 cartridge bags for 30-pdr Parrotts.

On to the last page for pistol cartridges, fuses, and other items:

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  • 1st Battery: 1,525 friction primers; 10 yards of slow match; and 17 portfires.
  • 2nd Battery: 373 army revolver and 1000 navy revolver cartridges; 509 friction primers; and 7 portfires.
  • 3rd Battery: 2,709 friction primers; 50 yards of slow match; and 300 pistol percussion caps.
  • 4th Battery: 500 navy revolver cartridges; 1,839 friction primers; 6 yards of slow match; 450 pistol percussion caps; and 16 portfires.
  • 5th Battery: 326 paper fuses and 1,615 friction primers.
  • 6th Battery: 900 friction primers and 18 portfires.
  • 7th Battery: 643 paper fuses; 1,995 friction primers; 12 yards of slow match; and 24 portfires.
  • 10th Battery: 1,154 paper fuses and 168 friction primers.
  • 11th Battery: 80 army revolver and 600 navy revolver cartridges; 446 paper fuses; 1,923 friction primers; 2 yards of slow match; 1,815 pistol percussion caps; and 14 portfires.
  • 12th Battery: 100 pounds of mortar powder; 1,810 friction primers; and 55 musket percussion caps.

I would say, at least those reporting for the quarter, the Indiana independent batteries were well armed. Our next installment will look at the rest of those independent batteries.

Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery

We have mentioned the 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery briefly in previous quarter summaries. The “Jackass” Regiment received short notice in those quarters, as only two of its batteries reported what was rated as field artillery. With the expansion of the tables to include siege and garrison artillery, the 1st Indiana received its own, proper, section:

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This regiment’s story, briefly, begins in July 1861 being mustered as the 21st Indiana Infantry. Sent to garrison Baltimore, the regiment was later among the forces forwarded to the Gulf as part of Butler’s expedition to New Orleans. In February 1863, the regiment converted to heavy artillery, retaining its colorful nickname. As artillerymen, the regiment was posted at several points in the Department of the Gulf. During the summer, the regiment sent eight companies to support the siege of Port Hudson. After the fall of that bastion, the batteries resumed duties at points in Louisiana. Colonel John Keith remained in command of the regiment. (And for more on this interesting regiment, you might consult Phillip E. Faller’s excellent regimental history.) For the end of 1863, we have the above summary noting the postings of all but two of the batteries:

  • Company A: At New Iberia with four 20-pdr Parrott rifles.  Captain Eden H. Fisher resigned on November 20th. Captain Harvey B. Hall replaced him. 
  • Company B: Perhaps an administrative error, this battery is listed on the third line down, below Battery C.  No return. The battery was posted to New Orleans at this time of the war. Captain James Grimsley was promoted to major on October 1. Lieutenant John W. Day accepted the captaincy.
  • Company C: Listed out of order, on the second line, reporting at Baton Rouge, with four 8-inch siege howitzers .  Captain Elihu E. Rose resigned on December 8, and was replaced by Lieutenant William Bough (promoted to captain, date of rank December 9).
  • Company D: At Baton Rouge with five 24-pdr siege guns.  Captain William S. Hinkle remained in command.
  • Company E:  Also at Baton Rouge, reporting four 20-pdr Parrotts. Captain James W. Hamrick in command.
  • Company F: Another battery at Baton Rouge, but no cannon reported.  Captain Francis W. Noblet commanded.
  • Company G: At Baton Rouge and also reporting no cannon.  Captain Edward McLaflin, of this battery, was the detachment commander at Baton Rouge and thus in charge of what amounted to a battalion-plus of artillery. However, Company G was split between the assignment at Baton Rouge and the New Orleans garrison.
  • Company H: Reporting at New Iberia, Louisiana with two 30-pdr Parrotts.  Captain James W. Connelly in command.
  • Company I: Garrison artillery at New Orleans, but reporting no cannon. Captain Richard Campbell’s command.
  • Company K: No return. Also garrison artillery in New Orleans. Under Captain Clayton Cox.
  • Company L: Reporting at Matagorda, Texas with three 12-pdr Napoleons and two 20-pdr Parrotts.  Captain Isaac C. Hendricks commanded this battery, which was part of Major-General Cadwallader Washburn expedition sent to the Texas coast that fall.
  • Company M: Only reporting stores on hand.  Garrison artillery at New Orleans.  This battery mustered in October.  Captain Samuel A. Strong was in command.

Before we leave the administrative section, let us consider a couple of photos from the Photographic History of the Civil War (that old classic). Both are captioned as showing a battery of the 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery (and specifically mentioned as formerly the 21st Indiana Infantry) at drill in Baton Rouge:

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Remarkable photos depicting the company (heavy artillery being companies that is) in battery (top) and in march order (bottom). Parrott rifles, obviously. And while I had reservations about the size, these do appear to be 20-pdrs. So we might tentatively identify this as Company E. Though as we don’t have a specific date to work from this might also show Company A. Or perhaps one of the other companies borrowing equipment… or for full speculation perhaps one of the other companies with rifles assigned to the garrison (and thus escaped the summary lines). A wealth of details in the photographs, particularly for anyone studying drill and tactics.

But the caption in the Photographic History points to another significant attribute for these photos.

The clearest and most trustworthy evidence of an opponent’s strength is of course an actual photograph. Such evidence, in spite of the early stage of the art and the difficulty of “running in” chemical supplies on “orders to trade,” was supplied to the Confederate leaders in the Southwest by [Andrew D.] Lytle, the Baton Rouge photographer – really a member of the Confederate secret service. Here are photographs of the First Indiana Heavy Artillery (formerly the Twenty-first Indiana Infantry), showing its strength and position on the arsenal grounds at Baton Rouge. As the Twenty-first Indiana, the regiment had been at Baton Rouge during the first Federal occupation, and after the fall of Port Hudson it returned there for garrison duty. Little did its officers suspect that the quiet man photographing the batteries at drill was about to convey the “information” beyond their lines to their opponents.

So those cannon we tally in the summaries? Reportedly the Confederates were also counting them… in the photographs. Not quite the microfilm drop of Cold War espionage, but still the use of imagery to gather intelligence.

We turn now to the ammunition reported on hand, starting with the smoothbore columns:

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  • Company L: 71 shot, 62 shell, and 98 case for 12-pdr Napoleons.
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  • Company L: 48 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.

Nothing on the first page of rifled projectiles. So we move to the second and the Parrott projectiles.

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  • Company A: 9 shot, 357 shell, and 72 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Company E: 210 shell for 20-pdr Parrotts.
  • Company L: 30 shot, 192 shell, and 34 canister for 20-pdr Parrotts.

No tallies on the “Miscellaneous” pattern projectiles page. So we move to the small arms:

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  • Company A: Six Sharps’ rifles and sixteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Company D: Sixty Remington army revolvers.
  • Company E: Fifteen Remington army revolvers and twenty-four horse artillery sabers.
  • Company G: Thirty-nine Sharps’ rifles.
  • Company H: Fifty-six Sharps’ rifles, eleven foot officer’s sword, and one musician’s sword.
  • Company I: Seventy Sharps’ rifles and nine horse artillery sabers.

Moving on to the cartridge bags and small arms ammunition reported:

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  • Company A: 340 bags for 20-pdr Parrott.
  • Company E: 339 bags for 20-pdr Parrott; and 3,000 Sharps’ cartridges.
  • Company I: 4,300 Sharps’ cartridges.
  • Company L: 226 bags for 20-pdr Parrott.

And on to the next page with fuses, primers, and other items:

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  • Company E: 71 paper fuses and 295 friction primers.
  • Company I: 5,750 percussion caps.
  • Company L: 146 paper fuses, 6 pounds of musket powder, and 590 friction primers.

That concludes the “Jackass” Regiment’s summary. I do believe this summary is lacking because certain equipment (particularly large cannon) were considered part of the garrison property, and not part of a regiment or company assignment. But the inclusion of the entire regiment in this quarter’s summary sheds light on how those heavy regiments served when indeed they served as artillery.

Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – Independent Illinois Batteries

We turn now to “below the line,” or at least on the next page, for the listings for independent batteries from Illinois. Nine batteries listed:

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  • Battery A, 3rd Illinois Artillery: At Little Rock, Arkansas with six 3.80-inch James Rifles. As mentioned in earlier summaries, this battery was better known as the Springfield Light Artillery, or Vaughn’s Battery. Commanded by Captain Thomas F. Vaughn, the battery was part of the Arkansas Expedition. By the late fall, with reorganizations, the battery fell under the Second Division, Army of Arkansas. With Vaughn absent, Lieutenant Edward B. Stillings was in temporary command at the end of December.
  • Chicago Board of Trade Battery: At Huntsville, Alabama, with four 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain James H. Stokes was still the battery commander. But as he was detailed to command a division of the Artillery Reserve, Army of the Cumberland, Lieutenant George I. Robinson led the battery. The battery was assigned to Second Division, Cavalry, Army of the Cumberland. They spent most of the fall supporting operations against Confederate raiders, before settling into winter quarters at Huntsville.
  • Chicago Mercantile Battery: At Pass Cavallo, Texas, with six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Patrick H. White remained in command. Assigned to the Third Division, Thirteenth Corps, the battery was part of a force sent to the Texas coast at the end of the year.
  • Colvin’s Battery: At Knoxville, Tennessee, with two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles and two 10-pdr Parrotts. This battery was formed in the late summer with men from the 107th Illinois and 33rd Kentucky Infantry (along with some from the 22nd Indiana Battery). By October it was officially carried on the rolls as a battery. Captain John H. Colvin remained in command. The battery participated in the Knoxville Campaign as part of Fourth Division, Twenty-Third Corps. At the end of the year, the battery transferred to the Cavalry, Army of the Ohio.
  • Bridge’s Battery: At Chattanooga, Tennessee, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. Captain Lyman Bridges commanded. With reorganizations after Chickamuaga, the battery was assigned to Third Division, Fourth Corps. The battery participated in the operations around Chattanooga that fall. They were among the batteries thrown forward to Orchard Knob. After victory at Chattanooga, the battery participated in the relief of Knoxville.
  • Elgin or 5th Battery(?): Also known as Renwick’s Battery, after its first commander. Reporting at Mossy (as written, Mofry?) Creek, Tennessee, with two 12-pdr Napoleons and four 24-pdr field howitzers. Captain Andrew M. Wood remained in command. And the battery with Second Division, Twenty Third Corps. The battery saw action at the battle of Mossy Creek, on December 29.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: At Loudon, Tennessee, but with no artillery reported. In the previous quarter the battery reported four 6-pdr field guns and two 3.80-inch James rifles. Captain Edward C. Henshaw remained in command. The battery remained with Second Division, Twenty-Third Corps. After the relief of Nashville, the division moved to Loudon. However, they would from there move to Strawberry Plains, east of Knoxville, before wintering at Mossy Creek.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: At Nashville, Tennessee, with four 3.80-inch James rifles. William Cogswell remained the battery captain. As part of Second Division, Seventeenth Corps, the battery was among the force sent to Chattanooga. The battery covered Sherman’s crossing and subsequent actions as the siege of that place was lifted. Then afterward participated in the relief of Knoxville. The battery went into winter quarters in north Alabama. In December the battery was assigned to Third Division, Fifteenth Corps. The Nashville location alludes to the reporting date of August 1864, after the battery was transferred to garrison duties.
  • Lovejoy’s battery: Reporting at Brownsville, Arkansas with two 12-pdr mountain howitzer. This listing does not match with any of the “according to Dyer’s” Indiana batteries. We discussed Lovejoy’s Battery last quarter, but under the Missouri heading. It was a section from the 2nd Missouri Cavalry, Merrill’s Horse, then serving at Brownsville. I’m rather sure this is Lieutenant George F. Lovejoy’s section. But I cannot explain why the Ordnance Department would change the state attribution here.

Let us table Lovejoy’s for the time being and move on to the ammunition. Starting with the smoothbore:

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  • Board of Trade Battery: 139 shot and 224 case for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Bridge’s Battery: 32 shell for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Elgin Battery: 34 shot, 36 shell, and 117 case for 12-pdr Napoleons; 135 shell for 24-pdr field howitzers.
  • Lovejoy’s Battery: 28 shell and 96 case for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

We’ll break the next page down into sections, starting with the rest of the smoothbore:

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  • Board of Trade Battery: 197 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Bridge’s Battery: 17 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons.
  • Elgin Battery: 25 canister for 12-pdr Napoleons; 116 case and 48 canister for 24-pdr field howitzers.
  • Lovejoy’s Battery: 11 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

To the right are listings for Hotchkiss rifled projectiles:

  • Mercantile Battery: 512 shot and 281 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.
  • Bridge’s Battery: 262 time fuse shell for 3-inch rifles.

More Hotchkiss on the next page:

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  • Springfield Light Artillery: 334 percussion fuse shell and 268 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Board of Trade Battery: 23 percussion fuse shell and 30 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Mercantile Battery: 240 percussion fuse shell and 138 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Colvin’s Battery: 23 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Bridge’s Battery: 240 percussion fuse shell, 240 case shot, and 160 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 170 percussion fuse shell and 149 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

To the right are columns for James patent projectiles:

  • Springfield Light Artillery: 236 shot, 212 shell, and 30 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Board of Trade Battery: 40 shot and 41 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 31 shot, 247 shell, and 109 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Then the Parrott and Schenkl sections:

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  • Colvin’s Battery: 56 shell and 19 case Parrott patent for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Board of Trade Battery: 104 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch rifles.

Nothing reported on the next page:

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So on to the small arms:

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  • Springfield Light Artillery: ten horse artillery sabers.
  • Board of Trade Battery: 104 Colt army revolvers, three cavalry sabers, and eighteen horse artillery sabers.
  • Mercantile Battery: One Colt army revolver and four horse artillery sabers.
  • Bridge’s Battery: Ten Remington army revolvers, fifteen cavalry sabers, and five horse artillery sabers.
  • Elgin Battery: Six Remington navy revolvers and eight horse artillery sabers.
  • Henshaw’s Battery: Sixteen Colt army revolvers, seven cavalry sabers, and nine horse artillery sabers.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: Two Colt navy revolvers and two cavalry sabers.

Cartridge bags reported on hand:

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  • Springfield Light Artillery: 720 bags for James rifles.
  • Board of Trade Battery: 312 bags for James rifles.
  • Mercantile Battery: 40 bags for 3-inch rifles and 165 bags for 6-pdr field guns.
  • Bridge’s Battery: 198 bags for 3-inch rifles.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 752 bags for James rifles.

Lastly, small arms cartridges, fuses, friction primers, and other items to cause a boom:

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  • Springfield Light Artillery: 939 friction primers.
  • Board of Trade Battery: 2128 friction primers and 250 percussion caps.
  • Mercantile Battery: 550 paper fuses, 123 friction primers, and two yards of slow match.
  • Bridge’s Battery: 800 pistol cartridges, 600 paper fuses, 595 friction primers, six yards of slow match, 150 percussion pistol caps, 560 percussion caps, and 27 portfires.
  • Elgin Battery: 800 friction primers.
  • Cogswell’s Battery: 740 friction primers and 12 portfires.

Between December 1863 and the end of the war, many of these Illinois independent batteries ceased to be independent. As the batteries from the 1st and 2nd Illinois Artillery saw their members mustering out, and as some of those lettered batteries consolidated, the independent batteries were redesignated. Because of that, the Illinois records appear disconnected at points in 1864 and 1865. Sad, because many of these are batteries with enviable service records.

Mahan on Artillery Tactics, Part 5: Artillery Supporting the Attack

We’ve discussed at length that Mahan felt artillery was the “principal part” of the defense. But on the offense, did the artillery play a minor role? Not according to Mahan. We sometimes misconstrue the notions about supporting roles to be of lesser importance, or perhaps inconsequential. Mahan felt the artillery’s support was vital to staging a successful attack. So how to go about constructing a successful support? Turning to the classes of artillery in use at that time (pre-Civil War), Mahan proposed different roles for heavy and light guns:

In the onset of offensive movements, good positions should be selected for the heaviest pieces, from which they can maintain a strong fire on the enemy until the lighter pieces and the columns of attack are brought into action. These positions should be taken on the flanks of the ground occupied by the assailant, or on the centre, if more favorable to the end to be attained.

Mahan, 61.

Consider a generic scenario, what I call the “blackboard topography.” One might select good artillery positions on the flanks, or the center as Mahan proposes. But regardless it is the heavy, long-range guns that are chosen to open the attack. And we need to understand, tactically, why this is significant. Having the least mobile component of the army as the base from which the army can launch an assault makes good sense. More so having those long-reaching and hard-hitting guns opening the engagement at a range from which only the enemy’s peer heavy guns could respond.

And at what range should those heavy guns open? Mahan did not delve into the technical details in this passage. For the most part, he left those things open as such was the domain of the artillerists and subject to change as the technology evolved. Though we can say given the pre-war context, I would offer 1200 yards. That was the effective range of a 24-pdr field howitzer firing shell. And that particular caliber and class would be the shortest-ranged of what was considered “heavy” artillery in the 1850s.

Continuing on in that paragraph, we put some weight… emphasis… on that point. The enemy would certainly respond to this opening bombardment:

In all cases, wide intervals should be left between the heavy batteries and the other troops; in order that the latter may not suffer from the return fire which the assailed will probably open on the batteries. For the same reason, care should be taken not to place other troops behind a point where they would be exposed to the return fire of the assailed; when this cannot be avoided, the troops should be so placed as to be covered by any undulation of the ground; or else be deployed in line to lessen the effects of the shot

Mahan, 61-2.

Those heavy batteries are going to be magnets for the enemy’s attention. And that in mind, there appears an additional factor here beyond just the measure of range and weight of metal. Not only does the opening bombardment damage the enemy directly … “kinetically” as the modern military is fond of saying… but also by splitting the enemy’s attention in response. Again, “blackboard topography” here, but opening the engagement with those big guns ensures the enemy must respond and counter the bombardment… and thus redirects defensive firepower that would otherwise be applied to the infantry or cavalry.

And in the study of assaults staged during the Civil War, we see this play out time and time again in the form of artillery duels. Most students will recognize the preparatory effects to damage the defense. However, consider how those duels usually played out. Particularly where ammunition supplies factored into how long the bombardment could be sustained. Do we know of instances where a defender deliberately ceased counter-battery fire in order to save guns and ammunition to repel the infantry? Yes we have. So this is not just were the defender pointed those cannon, but also if he decided to fire them or not.

But what of the light artillery?

The artillery which moves with the columns of attack, should be divided into several strong batteries; as the object in this case is to produce a decisive impression upon a few points of the enemy’s line; by bringing an overwhelming fire to bear upon those points. These batteries should keep near enough to the other troops to be in safety from any attempts of the assailed to capture them. Their usual positions will be on the flanks and near the heads of the columns of attack; the intervals between the batteries being sufficient for the free maneuvers of the other troops, in large bodies

Mahan, 62.

This, readers, is about as close as Mahan comes to any notion of “artillery charges.” The notion here is to carry forward, with the assault force, an artillery component up to a point, while still out of musket range, where direct damage can be done to specific enemy positions. Since these light batteries at the time Mahan was writing would be armed with 6-pdr field guns and 12-pdr field howitzers, the idea range would be 1000 yards. Perhaps closing up to 700 yards if the commander wanted to push things. Closer than that and that safety clause comes into risk, as the enemy infantry might be able to close quicker than the battery could respond.

I would stress the fire effects desired here. While none were articulated for the heavy batteries, the light batteries were there to do damage specifically to selected points of the defense. It was the light artillery that was to beat a path for the infantry and artillery. Consider also the control of these two elements of artillery. While the heavy artillery was far enough back to receive direction from the army commander (or at least the commander of the field), the light batteries were so far forward that only the assault force commander could exert any immediate control.

Note also the emphasis placed upon keeping open maneuver space for the infantry or cavalry. Very important to ensure the attacking ranks arrived at the point of contact in an orderly formation.

Continuing on, Mahan wrote:

The maneuvers of these batteries should be made with promptitude; so that no time may be lost for the action of their fire. They should get rapidly over unfavorable ground to good positions for firing, and maintain those as long as possible; detaching, in such cases, a few pieces to accompany the columns of attack. In all the movements of the batteries, great care should be taken not to place them so that they shall in the least impede the operations of the other troops.

Mahan, 62.

This was the reason artillery batteries drilled hard on maneuver, being able to quickly place and unlimber. This point is lost sometimes on our battlefield walks, as we see the guns (if guns are indeed on the field to represent) sitting as if ready for action. I always stress this to any audience I’m leading on a battlefield tour. Maneuver of a battery was an intricate choreography.

As for a section or battery accompanying the assault force right into the attack? Some will contend here’s that mythical “artillery charge.” No, not so. These cannon were reserved to go into action once the objective was attained. A hedge against an enemy counterattack. And we might say, while such was fine for the 1840s and 1850s, during the Civil War rarely would such an accompanying battery move with the assault. At Belmont, early in the war, the Chicago Light Battery was thrown in with the initial Federal attacks. And later in 1863 on Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign, there were a few instances where artillery came into action with the initial infantry waves. But these were, I think, less so much U.S. Grant (or.. .gasp.. John C. McClernand) applying Mahan’s accompanying batteries to practice. More so that artillery in a mixed line of march were employed at the onset of a meeting engagement.

So why was the accompanying battery disused? Well, to be honest, we might also start questioning the notions about the heavy and light battery employments. In the first place, by 1861 the US Army was already shedding the designations of heavy and light within the field artillery. The 12-pdr Napoleon was the weapon of choice in what would become, basically, all-purpose batteries. Furthermore, the introduction of better fuses (Bormann, in particular for the smoothbore) gave better accuracy. Not in terms of aiming, mind you. Rather in the ability of the gunner to have the shell or case shot explode at the right time of flight in order to achieve the desired fire effect. With that ability in hand, why press the issue at any range less than 1000 yards? Double down with the rapid adoption of rifled guns at the start of the Civil War.

With that said, the question always arises of the impact of the rifled musket with respect to artillery use. I have always contended first and foremost that infantry musketry techniques didn’t change significantly with the adoption of the new technology. Infantrymen were not trained, as a rule, to engage targets out to the effective range of their weapons. Some sharpshooters, maybe. But not the rank and file. Nor were infantry commanders apt to open volley fires out beyond a few hundred yards. So how would that impact the use of artillery?

It didn’t. Rather, the reason we see a departure, particularly in regard to the offensive use of artillery, from the Mahanian concepts presented in Outpost was because of the advances in artillery technology. Taking advantage of lighter, longer-ranged, more accurate weapons, practitioners of the artillery (thinking names like Gibbon, Hunt, Barry, and others) began to relook the way their arm could be employed.


(Citations from Dennis Hart Mahan, An Elementary Treatise on Advanced-guard, Out-post, and Detachment Service of Troops, and the Manner of Posting and Handling Them in Presence of an Enemy, New York: John Wiley, 1861, pages 61-2.)

Summary Statement, 4th Quarter, 1863 – 2nd Illinois Artillery

At the end of 1863, Colonel Thomas S. Mather remained the commander of the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery. Mather had been Chief of Staff for Major-General John McClernand. But with that officer’s relief during the Vicksburg Campaign, Mather had hitched his wagon to a falling star. Mather would go on to serve in other staff positions while remaining the colonel of the regiment. As for the rest of the regiment, batteries served in the Mississippi River Valley in Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

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  • Battery A:  No report. The battery remained with First Division, Thirteenth Corps (minus one detached section).  Captain Herman Borris remained in command.  Starting the fall at Carrollton, Louisiana, the battery supported some campaigning in October and November through west Louisiana. At the end of December the battery was assigned to the Defenses of New Orleans. At some point in the fall, the first section of the battery, which had served on detached service in Missouri, rejoined the command.
  • Battery B: No report. Captain Fletcher H. Chapman commanded the battery, part of the Sixteenth Corps and assigned to the District of Corinth. The battery would move to Memphis when Corinth was abandoned in January.
  • Battery C: At Fort Donelson, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain James P. Flood’s was assigned to Third Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland. But with that corps disbanded with the army’s reorganization, the garrison was part of the District of Nashville, Department of the Cumberland.
  • Battery D: Indicated at Grand Junction, Tennessee with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Charles S. Cooper remained in command of this battery, then assigned to Fifth Division, Sixteenth Corps, out of the Memphis District.
  • Battery E: No report. In the previous quarter, this battery was at Carrollton, Louisiana with three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer.  Captain George L. Nipsel, promoted in the late summer, commanded the battery, which was assigned to Third Division, Thirteenth Corps, Department of the Gulf. After supporting campaigns in west Louisiana during the fall, the battery was assigned duty at Plaquemine, Louisiana, District of Baton Rouge. Lieutenant Emil Steger was acting commander at the close of the quarter.
  • Battery F: Indicated at what appears to be Hebron, Mississippi with two 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers.  The battery was assigned to Fourth Division, Seventeenth Corps with Captain John W. Powell in command. But with him serving as division artillery chief, Lieutenant Walter H Powell led the battery. During the fall, the battery participated in an expedition into Louisiana (Harrisonburg). Then returned to Nachez, which is the actual battery location at the close of the year. Hebron, may be a contraction of New Hebron and a place associated with the Meridian Campaign. Thus may allude to the battery location in February 1864, when the report was filed.
  • Battery G: At Columbus, Kentucky with four rifled 6-pdr (3.67-inch) guns. Captain Frederick Sparrestrom commanded this battery. After duty in Vicksburg and Memphis through the summer and early fall, the battery was assigned to District of Columbus, Sixteenth Corps (with duty at times in Union City, Tennessee).
  • Battery H: Reporting at Clarksville, Tennessee  two 6-pdr field guns and four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Captain Henry C. Whittemore remained in command.  With the reorganization of the department’s Reserve Corps, the battery was listed in the garrison of Clarksville, District of Nashville, Department of the Cumberland.
  • Battery I:  At Chattanooga, Tennessee, turning in an assortment of weapons for six 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  Captain Charles M. Barnett commanded this battery, assigned to Second Division, Fourteenth Corps.
  • Battery K: No report.  This battery, under Captain Benjamin F. Rodgers, was at Natchez at this time of the war. A series of reorganizations brought the battery back to Fourth Division, Seventeenth Corps. In the new year, the battery would be assigned to the Defenses and Post of Natchez.
  • Battery L: Listed at Vicksburg with four 3.80-inch James Rifles. Part of Third Division, Seventeenth Corps. Captain William H. Bolton commanded.
  • Battery M: No report. In the previous quarter, the battery reported four 3.80-inch James Rifles and a location of Greenville, Tennessee.  Captain John C. Phillips command this battery, which assigned to the Twenty-third Corps, Army of the Ohio. Confederate advances in east Tennessee, in October, forced the withdrawal of Federal forces east of Knoxville, and that included Battery M. And around that time, Phillips was recalled to Nashville on other duties, leaving Lieutenant W.C.G.L. Stevenson in command. The battery was sent out in support of two regiments of cavalry scouting for Confederate raiders. This force was camped four miles outside Rogersville, Tennessee on November 6 when attacked by Confederates under Brigadier-General William E. Jones. Ill-prepared, outnumbered, and outmaneuvered, the force was all but destroyed. The battery spiked their guns. Survivors who were not captured reassembled under Phillips and assigned duty at Camp Nelson, Kentucky. Such events explain the lack of reporting for this battery.

Moving on to the ammunition and stores reported, we begin with smoothbore rounds:

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  • Battery F: 184 shot and 135 case for 6-pdr field guns; 120 shell and 133 case for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 166 shot and 140 case for 6-pdr field guns.
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  • Battery F: 28 canister for 6-pdr field guns and 31 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.
  • Battery H: 42 canister for 6-pdr field guns.

On the right side of this page are the Hotchkiss columns for rifled projectiles:

  • Battery C: 100 shot and 68 shell (time fuse) for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery G: 566 shell (time fuse) for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 10 shot for 3.80-inch James rifles.
  • Battery I: 222 shell (time fuse) for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 123 shell (time fuse) for 3.80-inch James rifles.

Additional Hotchkiss on the next page:

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  • Battery C: 385 shell (percussion fuse) and 346 canister for 3.80-inch James.
  • Battery G: 80 canister for 3.67-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 32 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 125 shell (percussion fuse) and 286 canister for 3-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 161 shell (percussion fuse) and 60 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Moving to the right, we see James projectiles also on this page:

  • Battery C: 7 shot, 24 shell, and 2 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery D: 45 shot, 203 (?) shell, and 60 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery H: 105 shot, 242 shell, and 214 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery L: 128 shell and 129 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

On the next page we focus on the Schenkl projectiles:

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  • Battery D: 64 shot and 128 shell for 3.80-inch rifles.
  • Battery I: 252 shot for 3-inch rifles.

One last entry for Schenkl on the next page:

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  • Battery D: 64 case shot for 3.80-inch rifles.

Turning now to the small arms reported:

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  • Battery C: Seventy-four Colt army revolvers, four cavalry sabers, and six horse artillery sabers.
  • Battery F: Twenty-three Colt army revolvers and twenty-three cavalry sabers.
  • Battery H: Fifty-four Colt army revolvers and seven cavalry sabers.
  • Battery I: Thirteen Colt navy revolvers and fifteen horse artillery sabers.

Notice, no long guns…. On the next page there are cartridge bags reported:

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  • Battery C: 728 6-pdr or 12-pdr bags.
  • Battery D: 540 James rifle bags.
  • Battery G: 746 6-pdr or 12-pdr bags.

The last page lists small arms cartridges, fuses, primers, and other materials:

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  • Battery C: 1,880 army revolver cartridges; 1,150 friction primers; and 503 percussion caps.
  • Battery D: 222 navy revolver cartridges and 660 friction primers. (We might wonder if there are some un-reported revolvers with Battery D.)
  • Battery F: 1,010 army revolver cartridges and 365 friction primers.
  • Battery G: 566 paper fuses and 895 friction primers.
  • Battery H: 1,000 army revolver cartridges; 1,200 friction primers; 50 yards of slow match; and 500 percussion caps.
  • Battery I: 460 paper fuses and 1,694 friction primers.
  • Battery L: 800 friction primers.

At the close of 1863 the 2nd Illinois was sort of at an organizational cross-roads. Batteries from this regiment had participated in several of the important western campaigns of the year, in some cases playing an important role. Some would continue at the fore of the 1864 campaigns. But many of these batteries were sent to garrison duties. Some, such as Battery M, would never serve as a battery again. By the end of the year, enlistments would come due. Instead of recruiting up to full strength, the state consolidated many of these batteries. So this “snapshot” by way of the ordnance summary is in some ways a last good look at the unit as a full organization.

Mahan on Artillery Tactics, Part 4: More on the Defense

Let us continue the discussion of artillery as used on the defense, according to Mahan. And we again turn to Chapter II, verse 151…..

Those positions for batteries should be avoided from which the shot must pass over other troops, to attain the enemy. And those should be sought for from which a fire can be maintained until the enemy has approached even within good musket-range of them.

Outpost, 60-1.

Common sense at play here. Fuses are not fail-proof, no matter how good the quality control is at the arsenal. Short rounds were a concern then as they are today. A further concern was the ballistic path of the sabot used behind many projectiles. Though made of wood, that could still injure or kill. With the introduction of rifled guns, another concern entered play – the lead or soft iron sabots often sheered off after the projectile left the muzzle. Those fragments took less predictable paths.

The other part of this is the desired effect of allowing the cannon to engage right up to… and inside of… musket range. The “skirmisher” community will note that Mahan was writing this passage before the rifled-musket was in widespread use. However, we should note that well into the Civil War, 100 yards was still considered the effective range of those rifled-muskets, as the practitioners were focused on volley fire effects as opposed to the effective range of individual weapons.

Where the wings of a position are weak, batteries of the heaviest caliber should be placed to secure them.

Outpost, 61.

Another sensible suggestion here. But one that must play with earlier passages that dictated the bigger caliber pieces be placed on “the more retired points” as opposed to advanced positions. Looking back at the “taking away a course of action from the enemy” mindset, those batteries assigned to support the flanks would be there to remove an option to attack on a flank. Such implies, generally speaking, that in the defense the flanks should be tucked in or refused. I would not argue against that as a general application, but certainly not submit flanks should always be refused. Given terrain or other factors, one might extend a flank position to cover the front of the main defensive line…. you know… like in those simple entrenchments that Mahan wrote of in other volumes.

Thus far, Mahan has placed the light batteries (shall we say the “mounted” batteries?) and the heavy (or “foot”) batteries. What about the horse artillery?

A sufficient number of pieces – selecting for the object in view horse-artillery in preference to any other – should be held in reserve for a moment of need; to be thrown upon any point where the enemy’s progress threatens danger; or to be used in a covering the retreat.

Outpost, 61.

Stomp your feet here to ensure all the cavalrymen hear and heed this. Horse artillery, in the defensive, was not simply attached to the cavalry for support of the troopers doing what ever it is they do on the defensive. Instead, the horse artillery was a reserve force to be used when pressed. If we turn again to “taking away courses of action” then here we are considering how an enemy commander would follow up behind initial success. If that assault has indeed achieved a lodgement on the main defensive line, the next step would involve pressing reinforcements forward to enlarge gains and break the line. The counter, Mahan proposes here, is the rapid, flying batteries of horse artillery introduced to seal that fissure.

And if that cannot be attained, at least have those horse artillery batteries in position to dissuade the enemy from following up with a close pursuit. A handful of well placed shells from the horse artillery should at least cause pause.

Everything thus far we might summarize as “use common sense and good judgement.” But the next paragraph is where the armchair generals will set up and start typing comments….

The collection of a large number of pieces in a single battery, is a dangerous arrangement; particularly at the onset of an engagement. The exposure of so many guns together might present a strong inducement to the enemy to make an effort to carry the battery; a feat the more likely to succeed, as it is difficult either to withdraw the guns, or change their position promptly, after their fire is opened; and one which, if successful, might entail a fatal disaster on the assailed, from the loss of so many pieces at once.

Outpost, 61.

Yes, at first glance, Mahan is laying out an argument against massing artillery on the battlefield. And our latter-day Stonewall Jacksons are quick to point out massed artillery is often the key to victory!

The important part of this passage is “large number of pieces in a single battery.” This is a “battery” not as an organizational unit, but as a position. Reading as such, this is a warning about putting multiple batteries in one contiguous position. If those guns are not arrayed as discussed at earlier points in this discussion of artillery on defense, then such a collection would be a vulnerable, tempting target. Placing the guns hub to hub is not “massing the guns.” But arranging those guns, in accordance to the guides presented by Mahan, is.

What I’d contend is that Mahan was not arguing against what Henry Hunt would do at Malvern Hill. Just the opposite. Prior to July 1, 1862, Hunt organized and emplaced the artillery into a fine example of what Mahan encouraged through these couple of pages on defensive arrangements. Go through the checklist – good engagement ranges, cleared fields of fire, complementing postings, light batteries advanced, heavy batteries retired, wings protected, infantry kept clear of the guns, and all well supported. And that arrangement allowed Hunt to introduce fresh batteries and withdraw tired ones, with relative ease. Thus, what Hunt had at Malvern Hill was not a “large number of pieces in a single battery” but instead a massing of combat power on a good position which maximized the capabilities of the artillery. Famously, one year and two days later, Hunt will accomplish the same feat on another battlefield while defending Cemetery Ridge. We might easily turn to the other side of the war and point to good use of massed artillery at Fredericksburg.

I think what Mahan is arguing against in this passage is actually instances like Missionary Ridge. One might say the Confederate artillery positions on that ridge were well placed for a siege in which their fire would be focused on distant Federal lines. The problem was no proper adjustment was made when that position transformed, due to the shifting of tactical situations, to a defensive one. And so that checklist that Hunt met on those hot July days was not met on that autumn day outside Chattanooga – dead space under the guns even past musket range, no complementary postings, no advanced or retired positions, infantry lines interspersed with the artillery, and little room to move the batteries around. And if we circle back to the “taking away a course of action from the enemy” notion here, I’d posit this counter-intuitive thought with a wry smile: the position on Missionary Ridge was so bad that it invited Federal commanders to accept and pursue a direct assault as a course of action. And as a demonstration, at that!

The last paragraph in this section on defensive arrangements for artillery strikes to the logistics of keeping those guns feed:

In all defensive dispositions the ammunition should be most carefully husbanded. A fire should never be opened until the enemy is within good range; and, when once opened, be continued with perseverance and coolness up to the last moment in which it can be made effective.

Outpost, 61.

I’ve mentioned this a time or two before, expressed as “staying power” of the guns. By this I mean the time for which the gun can remain at a position and actively part of the battle before having to replenish ammunition. Obviously many factors come into play here. Not the least of which is the number of rounds in the ammunition chests (in other words, the smaller-bore weapons had more rounds to shoot, all things being equal… yet another reason to have those big guns at retired positions). As we alluded to above (and at other places on this blog), Hunt and other good artillery commanders mitigated this with a good system to rotate batteries in and out of the line. Hunt also devised a very healthy system to push full ammunition chests up to the points where needed. Such adds another requirement here to those “good position” checklists, in that we must also consider allocating space to allow all the traffic needed in order to maintain a position “up to the last moment.”

And I stress “staying power” over perhaps the cyclic rate of fire. More so than simple weight of metal, it was the paced, deliberate, and measured fire which was desired. So let’s cast off these notions that artillery was just there to belch out canister, send smoke into the air, and make a lot of noise. The impact of those big guns, particularly on the defense, was to shape the flow of the battle… taking away courses of action available to the enemy.

(Citations from Dennis Hart Mahan, An Elementary Treatise on Advanced-guard, Out-post, and Detachment Service of Troops, and the Manner of Posting and Handling Them in Presence of an Enemy, New York: John Wiley, 1861, pages 60-1.)